Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sanctified by Sickness - Special Guest Post from Gigi Hughes

Gigi has been a dear friend of mine for many years. I met her through my husband's first church plant. She has been in my life ever since. I have laughed with Gigi, cried with Gigi, have had some of my best meals (ever) with Gigi (she cooked them), I have labored in the Lord with Gigi (she cooked our meals at Psalm 119 Conferences), we have evangelized intensely together (she drove me around many times while I frantically looked for people to witness to to be on the old The Way of the Master Radio), she was one of the first sisters I called when our dog Baby died (and she was over to our house in what seemed like minutes -shes a dog lover too), and most of all I have seen her suffer well. That is why I asked her to write a bit about how she has been sanctified through sickness. I hope you are comforted by reading this from Gigi:

“Whatever it takes, Lord.  Do whatever it takes in my life to make me look more like you and less like me.”

In 2010 I was diagnosed with last stage Hepatitis-C that I had carried for 30 years.  The disease had already damaged my liver to the point wherein my doctors estimated my lifespan to be 5-8 years maximum without immediate, and successful, treatment.   I had contracted this disease in 1984 from a blood transfusion prior to the blood supply being tested for such a disease.  However, my husband and I saw that this was a blessing from the Lord…a blessing beyond what we could’ve ever imagined.

We chose the treatment: one year of Interferon (a type of chemo) and it immediately caused my white blood count to drop to an alarming level--almost incompatible with life but for the Neupogen (a drug given to cancer patients on chemotherapy which forces your bone marrow to make white cells.)  I was so ill, and my hair was falling out by the handfuls that I jokingly said that I looked like a “3-year olds’ doll!” with the fluttering eye, missing hair and ragamuffin appearance J  How gracious is God? 

This is when I could truly “see” myself as Christ must see us…broken, with nothing to offer but “ugly.”  That’s all I could give my husband.  What a picture of the gospel!  He loved me in all of my “ugly” and inability to do anything for him!  What a picture of Christ!  He had to do it all—and it made me love him more. Mostly, it screamed grace and pointed me to Christ.  We clung to Christ and saw how the Holy Spirit strengthened us when we wanted to give up and how the Father orchestrated every breath.  Wow. What an honor.  What a privilege. 

The chemo killed my gallbladder so it was removed upon completion of the course.  However, praise be to God, my liver enzymes are normal again and there is no Hepatitis C virus in my body. 

This year, I did have a full-blown stroke, which afflicted the left side of my body.  After 3 months of physical therapy, I am able to walk without a walker and there are few residual effects.  Again, the Lord has chosen us…two really broken, sinful, wretches to have an opportunity to point everyone who is watching us to His precious Son! 

I cherish the rod because my Father would withhold no good thing from me (Psalm 84) and every single moment that I depend on Him more is GOOD.  He is completing the work He has begun (Phil. 1:6).

You see, we only have this one opportunity to suffer…I pray I honor Him through it all as He conforms me.

“What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death,” Philippians 1:18-20.

“Whatever it takes, Lord…whatever it takes.” - Gigi Hughes

Monday, March 31, 2014

Win A T-Shirt Through Fish With Trish!

Enter to win a t-shirt of your choice from our friends at Calvinist Tees!

Simply leave a comment below for your name to be entered into a drawing for a t-shirt of your choice from the Calvinist Tees website: www.calvinisttees.com

There are 2 Ways to Enter YOUR name in the drawing...

1. For 2 entries, post this on your website, blog, AND social networking site.

2. For 1 entry, enter your name (in the comment section) and a way for me to contact you if you win.
Contest ends on SAT April 5, 2014.

Someone from the Fish With Trish team will randomly pick a winner on April 5th, 6PM CST!
Open to US and Canada residents only.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Prodigal Husband - written by a friend of mine in hopes that one of you may be encouraged by this....

“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,” 1 Peter 3:1

This verse from 1 Peter 3 was written for the Christian woman who is married to an unbeliever. So, this verse was written for me. I thought that I was marrying a believer, but as the years have passed it has become exceedingly clear that that is not the case; my husband is not saved. And let me tell you, that this is the hardest place for a Christian woman to be in because the One I want to talk about the most I really can’t talk about at all. It’s like giving birth to your first child, but not being able to announce it to anyone, and having to act like he or she doesn’t even exist. It’s really, really hard, but I’m quiet. And instead of talking about things that have eternal value, we talk about the weather and sports. So, there’s a lot of silence in the house since the weather really doesn’t change all that much and I really only like football. Many tears have been shed, but not for me as much as for him. I so want to have a husband that desires to pray and attend church and read the Bible, but most of all I want my husband to be saved, and to know the Lord like I do so that his joy may be made full.

In the meantime, I pray, persevere and wait, and if you’re in the same situation I urge you to do the same. Never underestimate the power of prayer. We see Jesus praying to the Father constantly, and scripture instructs us to “pray without ceasing” 1 Thess 5:17, and assures us that “He hears us” 1 John 5:14-15.

And while you’re praying, continue to persevere and move forward, don’t look back. The enemy wants us to look back and remember how much easier things used to be, but Scripture tells us to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) so that you can keep moving forward, fully focusing on the prize, which is Christ. Notice all the Christian’s armor is worn on the front so that we can deflect Satan’s arrows; none is worn on the back, which is a perfect indication that Satan wants us to be still and look back. Let us not give in to that temptation.

Finally, wait. Wait on the Lord to answer as he prunes you and grows you in sanctification. Pastor Tim Conway said it perfectly when he said, “The Gardener is never closer to the vine than when he is pruning.” Just like a gardener plants a vine just where he wants it and must be close to it when he prunes it, God has you right where he wants you and is right there while he prunes you.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Something to Think About...

I'm going to be a BIG fan of this site.

I'll share more soon.

For now...
If you have a minute, like/follow these pages. 

God bless!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Roman Catholic Priest Cries on Friend's Shoulder

Encouraging message I saw today in my Facebook inbox. Thank you Alan for your faithfulness to the Gospel...

"A Cannon Lawyer for the Roman Catholic Church in Tyler saw me reading Convert on my flight. He asked if I was Christian. Got to share the Gospel with him and talk about the differences between the Bible and Roman Catholicism. When I offered to pray for his dying mother whom he is going to see in India, he took my hand, put his head on my shoulder, and cried. He thanked God for my comfort. Now we pray for fruit. Tell Emilio, the book worked. And my review will be forthcoming after this trip. - Alan"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Compelled Conference - Register now!

Hope to see you at the COMPELLED Conference in Lexington, South Carolina.
www.HeartsForTheLost.com for details and to register for free! — with Emilio Ramos and Todd Friel.  For details and to register for free.

The enemy get's tired like we do of resisting. Who will tap out first?

Do you ever get weary of doing good? Perhaps you feel like all the witnessing to your family is getting nowhere or that the tracts that you pass out are in vain. Or maybe that your prayers are not being heard. Or have the everyday trails of life caused a dark cloud to remain fixed above your head? Don’t forget that there is a spiritual battle going on. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6: 12 our battle is not against flesh and blood but with principalities and powers. Another version says “our struggle is not against flesh and blood”.

If you are a Christian, you know it is like to be tired during the battle in resisting wickedness and temptations. You know what it's like to get weary in the fight. You know what it is like to have seasons that seem particularly heavy with trails of various kinds.

I was on the mission field recently in Guadalajara Mexico with Tim Conway (Pastor from Grace community Church known for his media ministry I’ll Be Honest) and several other brothers and sisters. We talked for nearly an hour about spiritual depression and spiritual warfare. Tim talked about some intense times in his life which lead him to share thoughts about how the enemy and his minions get tired of bombarding us just like we get tired of resisting. If you’ve ever watched MMA fighting or a boxing match, someone will tap out. Someone will win. Someone will give up the fight.

I was reminded of the "war" verses in the Bible about how our weapons are “mighty in God” for the “tearing down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4) and that we are commanded to “put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes” (Ephesians 6:11) and that we are called to, “submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Take heart dear saint of God. If you feel that the battle is heavy? If you feel like you're about to collapse? If you feel the enemy pressing in? If you feel that you can’t take it any longer? If you feel like the darkness will not lift? Look to the Lord and fight with the Word. Jesus did this (Matthew 4). Are you above Him? Course not! He fought with the Word and you need to fight with the Word. The fight will only last so long. The battle will come to an end. And don’t forget "Greater is He who is in us then he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

Listen to this incredible account that my friend Kristen sent to me after she read it on Facebook. It aptly describes the type of spiritual struggle we are in and that we need to not throw in the towel...

A FB friend just posted this. She is a regular at a mill in Houston.

God's Word will not return void.

•    "An Assemblies of God minister just drove a girl in to kill her baby at HWC. The girl and minister were both aggressive. She was cursing. She said, "I'm a Christian and you don't understand my situation! You're judging me!" The Christians continued to try to reason with her from the Scriptures. The minister piped up quoting numerous passages of Scriptures including Romans 7 and said, "I don't support the killing of babies, but I'm here to support her. The Bible says, 'The things I want to do, I don't do, and the things I do, I don't want to do. We ALL sin! We are ALL weak!" The Christian man "D" who was interacting with him from the sidewalk rebuked him hard for this, as the minister was taking the girl by the arm and leading her into the killing place. "D" told the girl, "This man who is with you is a false prophet and a false teacher and he has a doctrine of demons. Don't listen to him!" The clinic escort showed up and accused "D" of blocking the driveway and called the police. The minister and the girl told the escort, "I want that guy filmed! He's harassing us!" (pointing to "D" on the sidewalk). "D" keeps rebuking the minister and telling the girl to not listen to them, pleading with her to have mercy on her child. They yell out in extreme anger, "Have you never sinned?! Are YOU PERFECT!? They go inside. The group on the sidewalk prays for them. Then, the minister and the girl come back out and sit on the bench. Now, she's crying and the minister is comforting her. They are still aggressive and angry, saying, "God will forgive me! God will forgive me! *f word* I'm calling the police! You keep harassing me! I have problems! I have issues!" "D" called out to them again, telling them, "You may not know what to do, but you know what NOT to do. The Word of God says, 'Thou Shalt Not Murder.'" There was a long, long time of silence. And then they get in their vehicle and drive to the entrance where "D" was standing on the sidewalk. They roll down the window and said, "I just want to thank you." The minister says, "I as well. I just want to thank you. Can we talk to you some more?" They pull into the overflow parking lot, and come over to talk to "D." But an escort gets to them first and talks to them for a long time. Then, they come over to talk to "D." The minister says, "I know you're a man of truth. You were speaking truth to us. We now know that this isn't right or in accordance to God's truth." They were weeping. Very sorrowful, very remorseful. "D" gave them two ladies' phone numbers to call for extended counsel and help. He told them that they will find a home for her if she needs it, that we can give her a baby shower to help her with her material needs for this little one. The girl said as she was crying, "What? You would give me a baby shower? Are you serious? What church do you go to?" "D" apologized and said, "I'm so sorry, but our church is about an hour away, but we can connect you with a local church closer to where you live." The minister said, "I don't care. We want to come to your church anyway! This is amazing. You are amazing." Lots of hugging and crying. An hour and a half of pleading with them, rebuking the minister, calling her to repentance, telling her to trust God, wrestling with light and darkness, good and evil, and then BAM!... God broke them. They are out to eat right now with Josie as she continues to counsel them. Praise the Lord!"

Fish With Trish